BALL STATE RELEASE
MUNCIE, Ind. – Sophomore Noah Powell hit a sharp single up the middle to score senior Justin Kirkpatrick in the bottom of the ninth inning to propel the Ball State baseball team to a 3-2 win over Fort Wayne Tuesday afternoon at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. This was Ball State’s fifth walk-off victory in 2018.
Powell factored in all three of Ball State’s (29-23) runs against Fort Wayne (10-35). The shortstop led off the bottom of the first with a double to the right center gap and later scored on junior Griffin Hulecki’s sacrifice fly. Two innings later, Powell beat out an infield single and later touched home plate on senior Jeff Riedel’s two-out RBI single.
The Cardinals held a 2-0 lead until the top of the ninth inning. The Mastodons’ Garrett Mohler led off the frame with his first home run of the season to put Fort Wayne on the scoreboard. Two walks and a single then loaded the bases with one out. Reliever T.J. Baker entered the game at that point and struck out Brady Hettinger. However, Dylan Wilbert drove a 2-2 pitch to right field to drive in Trenton Stoner with the tying run. Mike Snyder also tried to score on the single, but Riedel easily threw out Snyder at the plate.
In the bottom of the ninth, Kirkpatrick drew a four-pitch walk to open the inning. He moved to second on a William Baker sacrifice bunt. Powell’s single through the middle of the infield easily plated Kirkpatrick for the winning run.
“A lot of teams would have folded after what happened in the top of the ninth,” Ball State head coach Rich Maloney said. “Our team seems to have that resolve and more often than not, we have found a way to pull out the win just like today’s game. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out down the stretch.”
Powell finished with three hits for a second straight game and now has 17 multiple hit games this year. Riedel also had a pair of hits. Pitcher Mike Pachmayer had a solid start for the Cardinals, tossing the first three innings, striking out two and holding Fort Wayne to just one hit.
Fort Wayne’s Shane Odzark had a quality start, going six innings and limiting Ball State to two runs.
The Cardinals have now won six straight meetings against the Mastodons and hold a 19-2 lead in the all-time series.
Ball State concludes the regular season this weekend with a home series against league foe Western Michigan. Game one is scheduled for Thursday, May 17 at 3 p.m. First Merchants Ballpark Fan Day is slated for Saturday’s game at 1 p.m. Click here for more information on Fan Day.